‘Ant-Man 3’ Box Office Shows the Limits of the Post-‘Endgame’ Marvel Cinematic Universe

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Paul Rudd’s charm overcame mixed reviews, but the poor opening in China means global totals for most MCU films will be diminished

(L-R): Michelle Pfieffer as Janet van Dyne and Michael Douglas as Hank Pym in Marvel Studios' ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: QUANTUMANIA.
Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. © 2023 MARVEL.

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Even as the grumblings that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is past its prime have gotten louder, the opening weekend of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” has shown that Hollywood’s top franchise is still a dependable hit machine. At the same time, the sub-$1 billion global totals MCU films have earned in the past year are likely to be the norm if the new movie’s poor Chinese launch is a sign of things to come.

How far “Ant-Man 3” goes over the next month will say a lot about Marvel’s ability to create charming superheroes that audiences want to see over and over again, regardless of critics’ reviews.